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He said, he had loved her long:
She says, love should have no wrong.
Corydon would kiss her then:
She says, maids must kiss no men.
Till they do for good and all--
When she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness truth,
Never loved a truer youth.
Then with many a pretty oath,
Yea and nay, and faith and troth;
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse;
Love, that had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded;
And Phillida with garlands gay
Was made the lady of the May.

This sing, as we learn from “Percy's Relics," was sung before Queen Elizabeth at Elvetham in Hampshire, as she opened the casement of her gallery window in the morning, by“ three excellent musitians, disguised in auncient country attire." The following version of the song is given in England's Helicon :

In the merry month of May,
In a morn by break of day,
Forth I walk'd by the wood-side,
When as May was in his pride :
There I espied all alone,
Phillida and Corydon.
Much ado there was, God wot,
He would love and she would not.
She said never man was true,
He said, none was false to you,
He said he had lov'd her long,
She said, love should have no wrong.
Coridon would kiss her then,
She said, maids must kiss no men,
Till they did for good and all:
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness truth:
Never lov'd a truer youth.
Thuś with many a pretty oath,
Yea and nay, and faith and troth,
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse.
Love which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded.
And Phillida with garlands gay,
Was made the lady of the May.-N. Bretoy.

YE LITTLE BIRDS THAT SIT AND SING. From Thomas Heywood's “Fairy Maide of the Exchange,” 1615.

Ye little birds that sit and sing
Amidst the shady vallies,
And see how Phillis sweetly walks
Within her garden alleys ;
Go, pretty birds, about her bower,
Sing, pretty birds, she may not lower,
Ah me! methinks, I see her frown,

Ye pretty wantons warble.

Go tell her through your chirping bills,
As you by me are bidden.
To her is only known my love,
Which from the world is hidden.
Go, pretty birds, and tell her so,
See that your notes strain not too low,
For still methinks I see her frown,

Ye pretty wantons warble.

Go tune your voices' harmony,
And sing I am her lover ;
Strain loud and sweet, that every note
With sweet content may move her ;
And she that hath the sweetest voice.
Tell her I will not change my choice;
Yet still methinks I see her frown,

Ye pretty wantons warble.

O fly, make haste, see, see she falls
Into a pretty slumber ;
Sing round about her rosy bed,
That waking she may wonder.
Sing to her 'tis her lover true
That sendeth love by you and you,
And when you hear her kind reply,

Return with pleasant warblings.


From BYRD's "Songs and Sonnets of Sadness and Pietie," 1588.

What pleasure have great princes,

More dainty to their choice,
Than herdmen wild, who careless,

In quiet life rejoice,
And fortune's fate not fearing,
Sing sweet in summer morning ?

Their dealings plain and rightful,

Are void of all deceit;
They never know how spiteful

It is to kneel and wait,
On favourite presumptuous,
Whose pride is vain and sumptuous.

All day their flocks each tendeth,

At night they take their rest,
More quiet than he who sendeth

His ship into the east ;
Where gold and pearl are plenty,
But getting very dainty.

For lawyers and their pleading

They 'steem it not a straw ;
They think that honest meaning

Is of itself a law,
Where conscience judgeth plainly ;
They spend no money vainly.

Oh, happy who thus liveth,

Not caring much for gold,
With clothing which sufficeth

To keep him from the cold,
Though poor and plain his diet,
Yet merry it is, and quiet.


WILLIAM BROWNE, born 1590, died 1645.

From a MS. copy of his poems in the Landsdowne collection.

WELCOME, welcome, do I sing,
Far more welcome than the spring,
He that parteth from you never,
Shall enjoy a spring for ever.
Love that to the voice is near,

Breaking from your ivory pale,
Need not walk abroad to hear
The delightful nightingale.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.
Love, that looks still on your eyes,

Though the winter have begun
To benumb our arteries,
Shall not want the summer's sun.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.
Love, that still may see your cheeks,

Where all rareness still reposes,
'Tis a fool, if e'er he seeks
Other lilies, other roses.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.
Love, to whom your soft lip yields,

And perceives your breath in kissing,
All the odours of the fields,
Never, never, shall be missing.

Welcome, welcome, then 1 sing, &c.
Love, that question would anew,

What fair Eden was of old,
Let him rightly study you,
And a brief of that behold.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.

We are indebted to Browne for having preserved in his “ Shepherd's Pipe," a curious poem by Occleve.

Mr. Warton conceives his works to “have been well known to Milton," and refers to “ Britannia's Pastorals" for the assemblage of circunıstances in a morning landscape as were brought together more than thirty years afterwards by Milton in a passage of L'Allegro, which has been supposed to serve as the repository of imagery on that subject for all succeeding poets.-ELLIS.


From THOMAS MORLEY's Ballads, 1095.
Now is the month of maying
When merry lads are playing,

Fa, la, la.
Each with his bonny lass,
Upon the greeny grass,

Fa, la, la.
The spring clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at winter's sadness,

Fa, la, la.
And to the bagpipe's sound,
The nymphs tread out their ground,

Fa, la, la.

Fye then! why sit we musing,
Youth's sweet delight refusing ?

Fa, la, la.
Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,
Shall we play at barley-break ?1

Fa, la, la.


JAMES SHIRLEY, born 1596, died 1666.
WOODMEN, shepherds, come away,
This is Pan's great holiday ;

Throw off cares,
With your heaven-aspiring airs

Help us to sing,
While valleys with your echoes ring.
Nymphs that dwell within these groves,
Leave your arbours, bring your loves,

Gather posies,
Crown your golden hair with roses,

As you pass,
Foot like fairies on the grass.

A game popular in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and peculiar to the month of May.

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